19 Jul 2012

6000+ boat people reach Australia to date this year

9:35 pm on 19 July 2012

Immigration Department figures in Australia show more than 6000 asylum seekers have arrived by boat this year.

More than 4000 people are in detention.

Wickham Point facility at Darwin and the Christmas Island centre both hold more than 1000 asylum seekers.

A boat carrying 25 people was stopped near Christmas Island on Wednesday night - the eighth to be intercepted in the past six days.

A total of 445 asylum seekers were on the eight boats.

The ABC reports the passengers from the latest boat are being taken to Christmas Island for health and security checks.

Meanwhile, former human rights commissioner Sev Ozdowski says boat arrivals for 2012 could be well over 10,000.

Dr Ozdowski warned on Wednesday that more asylum seekers will almost certainly drown on their way to Australia unless something is done to stop people smuggling boats.

In a submission to a federal government panel on asylum seekers, Dr Ozdowski says Labor's decision to wind back the previous government's Pacific solution and temporary protection visas, created an undeniable "pull" factor for people trying to flee Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dr Ozdowski says a return to the Pacific solution is unlikely to stop the boats because it is "common knowledge" the majority of people who were detained at Nauru and Manus Island ended up in Australia.